“The Door To Yesterday” #25

(AP Photo/David Goldman

Jackie DeShannon put love in all our hearts at the Songwriters Hall Of Fame in New York!

Jackie (above) takes a bow after performing “Put A Little Love In Your Heart” on Thursday night in New York at the Songwriters Hall Of Fame.  She was inducted into the Hall Of Fame by Kim Carnes who opened that section of the star-studded evening by performing “Bette Davis Eyes”, the song that Jackie co-wrote with Donna Weiss and with which Kim topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1981.  Back then, Jackie received a Grammy® when “Bette Davis Eyes” was named Song Of The Year and her other hit compositions have included “When You Walk In The Room” (originally a 1964 chart success for Liverpool group The Searchers and later a huge 1994 country hit for Pam Tillis) and “Come And Stay With Me” recorded by the legendary Marianne Faithfull in ’65.  Additional hits for Jackie DeShannon the singer included the classic Jack Nitzsche/Sonny Bono composition “Needles And Pins” and the Burt Bacharach/Hal David standard “What The World Needs Now Is Love” but Jackie’s first love has always been the creation of a song and she still talks about what a wonderful feeling she had back in the 1960’s, driving along Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles to a studio where she would record demos of her very own compositions.  And now the little girl from Hazel, Kentucky, is in the Songwriters Hall Of Fame.  Justice indeed!

Rock on!


Previous postings of “The Door To Yesterday” newsletter can be found at www.wizwas.com

“The Door To Yesterday” #24


Allen Toussaint

For a number of years, Allen Toussaint was a name we only saw on record labels;  he was most often credited as writer (either as Toussaint or using his mother’s maiden name: Naomi Neville) of numerous outstanding r&b songs most of which had originated on relatively small record labels and as the 1960’s rolled on and the music industry began giving credit to producers, Allen’s name also appeared in that capacity alongside his original business partner, the late Marshall Sehorn.

In recent years, Allen has been much more visible as an artist in his own right, performing all over the world, playing and singing vastly entertaining solo sets at the piano.  Then of course there has been his work with Elvis Costello both on record and on the road.  You might have also witnessed his regular appearances at the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival where each year he proves to be one of the event highlights.

His solo recording work ranges from his memorable albums in the 1970’s for Warner Bros. and Reprise through to his most recent projects produced by Joe Henry including his 2009 Grammy®-nominated set “The Bright Mississippi”.

His piano style is influenced by the greatest of all of the Crescent City’s keyboard wizards, Professor Longhair, yet the main reason that Allen Toussaint has been such a significant force in American music for what amounts to almost half a century is his songwriting.  His music and lyrics have proved to be astoundingly consistent ranging from heartfelt love songs (for instance “With You In Mind” and “Sweet Touch Of Love”) and irresistible shuffle tunes (“Mother-In-Law” and “Whipped Cream”) through to gloriously crafted anthems such as “Yes We Can Can” and thought-provoking ballads as in “Who’s Gonna Help Brother Get Further?” whose messages burn as strongly today as they did when first released.

Luckily for all of us, Mr. Toussaint is still extremely active both as a performer and writer.  If you haven’t seen him in concert, he’s well worth tracking down (check his booking agency’s website www.rosebudus.com for tour dates) and when you see him ‘live’, listen out for the intriguing story he tells about his inspiration for writing “Southern Nights”.

So here’s my list of favorite Allen Toussaint compositions;  in each case, I’ve listed just a few of the important recorded versions.

Chart versions are shown in italics; others are listed alphabetically.

All These Things (Neville)
by The Uniques Featuring Joe Stampley (Paula: 1966) US Pop hit
by Joe Stampley (ABC/Dot: 1976) US Country hit
by Joe Stampley (Epic: 1981) US Country hit
by Elvis Costello & The Attractions (Rhino: 1986)
by Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint (Verve Forecast: 2006)
by The Hilltoppers Featuring Jimmy Sacca (3J)
by The Meters (Reprise: 1976)
by Aaron Neville (Bell: 1969)
by Art Neville (Instant: 1962)
By Paul & Paula (Uni: c.1968)

Blinded By Love(Toussaint)
by Etta James (Chess: 1978)
by Allen Toussaint (‘live’: 2009)
by Johnny Winter (Columbia: 1974)

A Certain Girl (Neville)
by Ernie K-Doe (Minit: 1961) US Pop hit
by Warren Zevon (Asylum: 1980) US Pop hit
by Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint (Hip-O: 2006)
by The First Gear (UK Pye: 1964)
by Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders (Fontana: 1965)
by The Paramounts (UK Parlophone: 1964)
by The Yardbirds (Epic: 1964)

by Ernie K-Doe (Amy: 1966) UK hit

A Dreamer Of A Dream” (Toussaint)
by Candi Staton (Warner Bros: 1977) US R&B hit

Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky (From Now On) (Toussaint)
by Lee Dorsey (Amy: 1969) US R&B & Pop hit
by Lou Donaldson (Blue Note: 1970)
by Allen Toussaint (Scepter: 1970)

Fortune Teller(Neville)
by Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers (UK Parlophone)
by Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint (Hip-O: 2006)
by The Dogs (Mercury: 1979)
by Downliners Sect (UK Columbia: 1966)
by The Hollies (UK Parlophone: 1965)
by The Iguanas (MCA: 1993)
by The Merseybeats (UK Fontana: 1963)
by Cyril Neville (2000)
by Robert Plant & Alison Krauss (Rounder: 2007)
by Benny Spellman (Minit: 1962)
by The Rolling Stones (UK Decca: 1964)by The Who (MCA: 1970)
by The Who (MCA: 1970)

Freedom For The Stallion(Toussaint)
by The Hues Corporation (RCA: 1973) US Pop hit
by Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint (Verve Forecast: 2006)
by Lee Dorsey (Polydor: 1971)
by Edward Bear (Capitol: 1973)
by Boz Scaggs (Columbia: 1972)
by The Oak Ridge Boys (Columbia)
by Three Dog Night (Dunhill/ABC: 1972)
by Allen Toussaint (UK Island: 1976)

From A Whisper To A Scream(Toussaint)
by Elvis Costello & The Attractions (FBeat: 1981)
by Allen Toussaint (Tiffany/Scepter: 1970)
by Esther Phillips (Kudu: 1972)

Fun Time(Toussaint)
by Joe Cocker (Asylum: 1978) US #43 Pop hit

Get Out Of My Life, Woman (Toussaint)
by Lee Dorsey (Amy: 1966) US R&B, Pop and UK hit
by Solomon Burke (Atlantic: 1968)
by The Paul Butterfield Blues Band (Elektra: 1966)
by The Doors (‘live’ in 1967)
by The Five D (Sir John)
by Roy Head (Crazy Cajun)
by Jimi Hendrix (Jungle)
by Iron Butterfly (Atco)
by Albert King (Tomato: 1978)
By The Leaves (Mira: 1966)
by Byron Lee & The Dragonaires
by The Nobleman 4 (Recap: 1968)
by Jimmy Smith (Verve: 1967)
by Joe Tex (Atlantic: 1967)
by Allen Toussaint (Bell: 1968) and (NYNO: 1996)
by Joe Williams with Thad Jones & Mel Lewis, The Jazz Orchestra  (Solid State: 1966)
by Wilmer & The Dukes (Aphrodisiac)

God Must Have Blessed America (Toussaint)
by Glen Campbell (Capitol: 1977) US Country hit
by Lee Dorsey (ABC: 1978)

Go-Go Girl(Toussaint)
by Lee Dorsey (Amy: 1967) US R&B hit

Happiness (Toussaint)
by The Pointer Sisters (Planet: 1978)
by Sylvester (Fantasy: 1979)
by Allen Toussaint (Warner Bros: 1978)

by Beatless (Ubiquity: 2001)
by Aaron Neville (Mercury: 1973)
by Boz Scaggs (Columbia: 1974)
by Allen Toussaint (‘live’: 2009)
by Paul Weller (V2: 2004)
by World Party (Papil: 1997)

Here Come The Girls(Toussaint)
by Ernie K-Doe (Minit: 1961) US pop hit
by Allen Toussaint (‘live’: 2009)
Sampled in “Girls” by The Sugababes (Island: 2008) UK hit

Holy Cow(Toussaint)
by  Lee Dorsey (Amy: 1966) US R&B, Pop and UK hit
by Jamey Ryan (Show Biz: 1970) US #75 Country
by The Band (Capitol: 1973)
by Jools Holland (IRS: 1990)
by Stefan (Stax: 1972)

I Cried My Last Tear(Neville)
by Ernie K-Doe (Minit: 1961) US Pop hit
by Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers (UK Parlophone: 1965)

I Like It Like That” (Toussaint/Chris Kenner)
by Chris Kenner (Instant: 1961) US R&B and Pop hit
by The Dave Clark Five (Epic: 1965) US Pop hit

by Don Bryant (Hi: 1962)
by The Kingsmen (Wand: 1965)
by Loggins & Messina (Columbia: 1975)
by The Nashville Teens (UK Decca)
by Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels (DynoVoice: 1966)

I’ll Take A Melody” (Toussaint)
by Jerry Garcia (Arista: 1976)
by John Holt (Trojan: 1976)
by The Hues Corporation (RCA: 1974)
by Gladys Knight (Kama Sutra: 1978)
by Frankie Miller (Chrysalis: 1974)

It’s Raining(Neville)
by Irma Thomas (Minit: 1961) US regional hit
by Shakin’ Stevens (Epic: 1981) UK hit

by Lou Ann Barton (Discovery: 1982)
by The Detroit Cobras (Rough Trade: 2005)
by Freddy Fender (Crazy Cajun)
By Jennifer Warnes (Sin-drome: 2001)
by Marva Wright (Mardi Gras: 1995)

It’s Time For A Change(Toussaint)
by Allen Toussaint (Crystal Fire: 1986)

Java(Toussaint/Freddy Friday/Marilyn Schack/Alvin ‘Red’ Tyler)
by Floyd Cramer (RCA: 1963) US Pop & AC hit
by Al Hirt (RCA: 1964) US Pop & AC hit

by Chet Atkins (RCA)
by Bill Black’s Combo (Hi: 1964)
by The Boston Pops with Arthur Fiedler (RCA)
by King Curtis (Capitol)
by Bert Kaempfert & His Orchestra (Decca: 1965)
by Allen Toussaint (on his 1958 RCA album credited to Al Tousan)

Let’s Live (Neville)
by Aaron Neville (Minit: 1961)

Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette)(Neville)
by Benny Spellman (Minit: 1962) US R&B hit
by The O’Jays (Imperial: 1965) US R&B and Pop hit
by Jimmie Peters (Mercury: 1977) US Country hit
by The Amazing Rhythm Aces (ABC: 1979) US Country hit
by Delbert McClinton (Capitol: 1981)

Love Lots Of Lovin’(Toussaint)
by Lee Dorsey & Betty Harris (Sansu: 1969)

Mother-In-Law (Toussaint)
by Ernie-K Doe (Minit: 1961) US R&B, Pop and UK hit
by Jim Nesbitt (Chart: 1964) US Country hit
by Clarence Carter (Fame: 1973) US R&B hit
by Huey Lewis & The News (Elektra: 1994)

Mr. Mardi Gras(Toussaint)
(written as a tribute to Blaine Kern, designed of the Mardi Gras floats)
by Allen Toussaint (Cayenne: 1987)

My Old Car(Toussaint)
by Lee Dorsey (Amy: 1967) US Pop hit

Nearer To You(Toussaint)
by Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint (Verve Forecast: 2006)
by Betty Harris (Sansu: 1967)

Night People(Toussaint)
by Lee Dorsey (ABC: 1978) US R&B hit
by Etta James (MCA: 1980)
by Brian McKnight (Polygram: 1993)
by Robert Palmer (Island: 1978)
by Allen Toussaint (Warner Bros: 1978)

by Lee Dorsey (Polydor: 1970)
by Manhattan Transfer (Atlantic: 1975)
by Van Dyke Parks (Warner Bros: 1972)
by Ringo Starr (Capitol: 1974)

On Your Way Down” (Toussaint)
by Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint (Verve Forecast: 2006)
by Lee Dorsey (Polydor: 1973)
by Little Feat (Warner Bros: 1973)
by Allen Toussaint (Reprise: 1972)
by Trombone Shorty with Allen Toussaint (Verve Forecast: 2010)

Over You” (Allen Toussaint/Allen Orange)
by Aaron Neville (Minit: 1960)

Pain In My Heart” (Neville)  adapted from “Ruler Of My Heart”
by Otis Redding (Volt: 1964) US R&B and Pop hit
by The Grateful Dead
by The Rolling Stones (‘live’ in 1965)

Performance” (Toussaint)
by Dobie Gray (MCA: 1974)
by Aaron Neville (Palm Tree: 1977)

Play Something Sweet (Brickyard Blues)” (Toussaint)b

by Three Dog Night (Dunhill: 1974) US Pop hit
by Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint (Hip-O: 2006)
by Levon Helm (1978)
by The James Montgomery Band (Capricorn: 1974)
by Little Feat (Warner Bros)
by Frankie Miller (Chrysalis: 1974)
by Maria Muldaur (Reprise: 1974)
by B.J. Thomas (Paramount: c.1974)

Pure Uncut Love (Toussaint)
by Allen Toussaint (NYNO: 1996)

Ride Your Pony (Neville)
by Lee Dorsey (Amy: 1965) US R&B and Pop hit
by The Fleshtones (I.R.S.: 1981)
by  The Meters (Josie: 1970)
by Paul Revere & The Raiders (Columbia)

Ruler Of My Heart(Neville)
by Irma Thomas (Minit: 1963)
by Asleep At The Wheel (Acadia: 1978)

Shoorah Shoorah(Toussaint)
by Betty Wright (Alston: 1975) US R&B and UK hit
by Frankie Miller (Chrysalis: 1974)

Sneakin’ Sally Thru The Alley (Toussaint)
by Lee Dorsey (Polydor: 1970)
by Robert Palmer (Island: 1974)

Southern Nights(Toussaint)
by Glen Campbell (Capitol: 1977) US Pop, AC, Country and UK hit
by Roy Clark (ABC: 1978)
by Allen Toussaint (Reprise: 1974)

Sweet Touch Of Love(Toussaint)
by Allen Toussaint (Tiffany/Scepter: 1970)
by Esther Phillips (King: 1972)
by Irma Thomas (Rounder: 1992)
by Etta James (Warner Bros: 1978)

Tears Tears And More Tears(Toussaint)
by Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint (Hip-O: 2006)
by Lee Dorsey (Polydor: 1971)
by Tracy Nelson (Rounder)

What Do You Want The Girl To Do” (Toussaint)
by Geoff Muldaur (Reprise: 1976)
by Allen Toussaint (Reprise: 1974)
by Bonnie Raitt (as “What Do You Want The Boy To Do”) (Warner Bros: 1975)
by Boz Scaggs (Columbia: 1976)

What Is Success” (Toussaint)
by Allen Toussaint (Scepter: 1970)
by Bonnie Raitt (Warner Bros: 1974)

Whipped Cream(Neville)
by Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass (A&M: 1965) US Pop and AC hit
by Pete Fountain (Coral: 1965)
by The Stokes (Alon: 1964)

Whoever’s Thrilling You (Is Killing Me)(Toussaint)
by Z.Z. Hill (United Artists: 1975)
by Wallace Johnson (NYNO: 1996)
by Rufus & Chaka Khan (MCA: 1973)

Who’s Gonna Help Brother Get Further? (Toussaint)
by Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint (Verve Forecast: 2006)
by Lee Dorsey (Polydor: 1970)
by Allen Toussaint (‘live’: 2009)

With You In Mind (Toussaint)
by Etta James (MCA: 1980)
by Frankie Miller (Chrysalis: 1974)
by Aaron Neville (A&M: 1991)
by Joe Simon (Spring: 1977)
by Allen Toussaint (Warner Bros: 1978)

Wonder Woman (Toussaint)||
by Brinsley Schwarz (United Artists: 1972)
by Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint (Verve Forecast: 2006)
by Lee Dorsey (Amy: 1968)

Working In The Coal Mine (Toussaint)|
by Lee Dorsey (Amy: 1966) US R&B, Pop and UK hit
by Devo (Full Moon: 1981) US Pop hit

by Booker T. & The MG’s (Stax: 1966)
by Harry Connick Jr. (Columbia: 2007)
by Hoodoo Rhythm Devils (Fantasy: 1978)
by The Judds (RCA: 1985)
by Pure Prairie League (RCA: 1978)
by Allen Toussaint (Scepter: 1970)

Yes We Can Can (Toussaint)
by Lee Dorsey (Polydor: 1970) US R&B hit
by The Pointer Sisters (Blue Thumb: 1973) US Pop and R&B hit
by Harry Connick Jr. (Columbia: 2007)
by Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint (Hip-O: 2006)
by Jose Feliciano (RCA: 1973)
by Sly & Robbie (Island: 1987)
by Treacherous Three (Sugar Hill: 1982)
by Alyson Williams (Profile: 1986)
by Young Holt Unlimited (Cotillion: 1972)

You Can Give But You Can’t Take(Toussaint)
by Aaron Neville (Bell: 1968)

This Allen Toussaint piece is the second in my occasional series saluting “R&B Legends”.  The first was devoted to Amos Milburn and ran in issue #17 of ‘The Door To Yesterday’.


Over The Rainbow

71 years after Harold Arlen & E.Y. Harburg’s song “Over The Rainbow” was introduced by Judy Garland in MGM’s movie “The Wizard Of Oz”, it’s back on the British charts with a new version (complete with the song’s rarely-sung verse) by Danielle Hope.  An 18 year-old girl from Manchester, Danielle won a recent TV-broadcast competition to find an actress to star as Dorothy in an upcoming production of “The Wizard Of Oz” planned for London’s west end.


Thanks for your emails following my ‘Sound Effects’ list in DTY #23.  Brian Berg, the eagle eye of Universal Records in London, spotted that I incorrectly referred to Bernard Cribbins’ 1962 hit “Hole In The Ground” as “Hole In The Wall”.  Austin Powell reminded me of British singer Josh Macrae’s 1961 single “Messing About On The River” which contained the relevant watery sound effect;  that song was written by Mark Anthony, a pseudonym used at one time by the very successful songwriter Tony Hatch.

Movie Quote of yesteryear:

Maybe I’ll live so long that I’ll forget her…maybe I’ll die trying

Spoken by Orson Welles as the sailor Michael O’Hara  in “The Lady From Shanghai” (Columbia: 1948)

Rock on!


Previous postings of “The Door To Yesterday” newsletter can be found at www.wizwas.com

“The Door To Yesterday” #23

Robin Hood Rides Again !

This week, the hero of Sherwood Forest is back on the big screen, portrayed this time by Russell Crowe following in the footsteps of a number of fine actors, not the least of which was Errol Flynn who starred in arguably the best-ever movie version of the Robin Hood legend “The Adventures Of Robin Hood”, released in 1938 by Warner Bros. complete with a triumphant score by one of the deans of film music, Erich Wolfgang Korngold.

Seventeen years after that, a new Robin Hood appeared this time on the small screen in thirty-minute episodes shot in Surrey, England in glorious back white.  The star was Richard Greene but the series boasted one other unforgettable element – a theme song!  Written by American composer Carl Sigman, it was recorded commercially by a singer called Dick James.  Yes indeed – THAT Dick James…the man who would later become a millionaire after becoming the Beatles’ music publisher.

Dick had started out as a ballad singer with British bandleader Primo Scala and then started making solo recordings under his own name for British Decca.  In 1950, he recorded a successful duet version of “The Petite Waltz” (Heyne/Ellington/Claire) with one of Decca’s hottest properties, Anne Shelton.  He later switched to Parlophone where in 1955, George Martin produced his single of the “Robin Hood” TV song on which he was accompanied (as the label read) by ‘Stephen James & His Chums with Ron Goodwin & His Orchestra’.   “Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen” became a huge British favorite and the 78 climbed into the UK Top 20 early the following year.

Dick’s days as a singer started to wind down and he started a music publishing firm in an office in London’s Denmark Street;  when EMI’s Ardmore & Beechwood company failed to prove themselves worthy of promoting the Beatles’ songs, George Martin advised their manager Brian Epstein to place the Lennon/McCartney songs under Dick’s stewardship.  That was the beginning of Northern Songs and the making of Dick James as an astute song promoter and publisher (he also controlled the early songs of Elton John) and the rest, as they say, is history.

An early 1960’s shot of Dick James (centre) along with George Martin (left) and Brian Epstein (right).

An early 1960's shot of Dick James (centre) along with George Martin (left) and Brain Epstein (right).

Movie Quote of yesteryear:

How extravagant you are, throwing away women like that…someday they may be scarce!”

Spoken by Claude Rains as the sly and corrupt French police chief Captain Louis Renault to Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine in “Casablanca” (Warner Bros: 1942)

Sound effects!

I’ve always been fascinated by the use of sound effects on pop records.  Among the early uses which made me sit up and take notice were on composer Leroy Anderson’s wonderfully descriptive instrumental pieces such as “The Typewriter” and “Sandpaper Ballet”.  Comedy records have often used non-musical sounds to great effect as in Spike Jones & His City Slickers’ zany version of “Cocktails For Two” in 1945;  then in the 1950’s, Stan Freberg’s unforgettable cavalcade of inventive parodies including 1953’s “St. George And The Dragonet” and 1957’s “The Old Payola Roll Blues” utilized a whole string of real-life noises ranging from car horns and creaking doors to doorbells and breaking glass.  Over in Britain, producer George Martin was as inventive as they come particularly with his seemingly endless parade of comedy records by such luminaries as Peter Sellers and Bernard Cribbins.  Until Bernard’s “Hole In The Ground” single, who could have imagined a hit record that featured the sounds of a pneumatic drill?!

But aside from comedy records, sound effects on pop and rock tracks have continuously grabbed my attention and a few months back, Rihanna’s inclusion of a gun shot at the end of her single “Russian Roulette” made me think I should update my list of older tracks that memorably featured noises off!

There are a ton of examples of sound effects being featured in pop & rock songs over the years but here are just a few that have stood out for me…

Bird calls:
By The Young Rascals (Atlantic: 1967)

Buoy bell & foghorns:
Captain Of Your Ship
By Reparata & The Delrons (Mala: 1968)
Harbor Lights

By The Platters (Mercury: 1960)

Camera shutter:
Girls On Film

By Duran Duran (Capitol: 1982)

Car horn:

By Kraftwerk (Vertigo: 1975)
Beep Beep
By The Playmates (Roulette: 1958)

Cars starting & revving up:

By Kraftwerk (Vertigo: 1975)
Drag City
By Jan & Dean (Liberty: 1964)
By The Beach Boys (Capitol: 1962)
Hot Rod City
By Super Stocks (Capitol: 1964)
Stick Shift” (Henry Bellinger)
By The Duals (Sue: 1961)

Car starting up and crashing:
Bucket T

By Jan & Dean (Liberty: 1964)

Car crashes:
Dead Man’s Curve
By Jan & Dean (Liberty: 1964)
I Want My Baby Back
By Jimmy Cross (Tollie: 1964)
By Nervous Norvus (Dot: 1956)

Creaking coffins & horror noises:
Monster Mash
By Bobby ‘Bopis’ Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers (Garpax: 1962)

Fire truck siren and bell:
Fire Brigade
By The Move (UK Regal Zonophone: 1968)

Gun shots:
Shotgun Wedding
By Roy C (Black Hawk: 1965)
Western Movies
By The Olympics (Demon: 1958)

Howling wind:
I Want My Baby Back
By Jimmy Cross (Tollie: 1964)

Motorcycle engine, brakes screeching & crash:
Leader Of The Pack
By The Shangri-Las (Red Bird: 1964)

Outer space noises:
Martian Hop
By The Ran-dells (Chairman: 1963)
By The Tornados (UK Decca/US London: 1962)

“The Letter”
By The Box Tops (Mala: 1967)

Plane, machine gun, explosions:
Sky Pilot
By Eric Burdon & The Animals (MGM: 1968)

Police siren:
Hot Rod Lincoln
By Johnny Bond (Republic: 1960)
Indiana Wants Me
By R. Dean Taylor (Rare Earth: 1970)
Stick Shift
By The Duals (Sue: 1961)
They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haa!
By Napoleon XIV (Warner Bros: 1966)

Roulette wheel:
Wheel Of Fortune
By Kay Starr (Capitol: 1952)

Screeching tires:
Hot Rod Lincoln
By Johnny Bond (Republic: 1960)

Seagull cries:
I Wish It Would Rain
By The Temptations (Gordy: 1967)

Seagull cries & lapping waves:
“(Remember) Walkin’ In The Sand
By The Shangri-Las (Red Bird: 1964)
“(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay
By Otis Redding (Volt: 1967)
So Much In Love
By The Tymes (Parkway: 1963)
“Summer (The First Time)
By Bobby Goldsboro (United Artists: 1973)

Ship’s bell, rippling water & ship’s horn blast:
Sea Cruise
by Frankie Ford (Ace: 1959)

Siren & machine gun:
Riot In Cell Block #9
By The Robins (Spark: 1954)

Thunderclaps and/or rainstorms:
Flowers In The Rain
By The Move (UK Regal Zonophone: 1967)
I Want My Baby Back
By Jimmy Cross (Columbia: 1960)
In The Rain
By The Dramatics (Volt: 1972)
By Dee Clark (Vee-Jay: 1961)
Rhythm Of The Rain
By The Cascades (Valiant: 1963)
Riders On The Storm
By The Doors (Elektra: 1971)
Walkin’ In The Rain With The One I Love
By Love Unlimited (Uni: 1972)
Walking In The Rain
By The Ronettes (Philles: 1964)

Train siren:
Casey Jones
By Johnny Cash (Columbia: 1962)

Train whistle:

Arriverderci Darling
By Anne Shelton (UK HMV: 1955)
In The Middle Of The House
By Alma Cogan (UK HMV: 1956)

Water bubbling:
Splish Splash
By Bobby Darin (Atco: 1958)

Water & various nautical sounds + tinkling glasses:
Yellow Submarine
By The Beatles (UK Parlophone/US Capitol: 1966)

Rock on!


Previous postings of “The Door To Yesterday” newsletter can be found at www.wizwas.com

“The Door To Yesterday” #22

There’s something extremely rewarding in becoming good friends with major singer/songwriters whose single releases you had originally purchased back in the days when you were a mere record buyer!  Years before I knew Al Bennett and various other members of the Liberty Records family, I bought a copy of the original 1963 version of “Needles And Pins” by Jackie DeShannon, even though I worked for EMI who released the record!   “Needles And Pins” was written by Jack Nitzsche & Sonny Bono with some uncredited assistance from Jackie herself and it gave me my first opportunity of discovering what a standout singer she is.  Along with one of Nitzsche’s trademark powerhouse arrangements with drums and guitar to the fore, Jackie made every word so utterly believable with the line “Why can’t I stand up and tell myself I’m wrong, I’m wrong, so wrong” particularly memorable.

I was a huge fan of girl singers and girl groups in the 60’s and indeed, there were so many to choose from including Brenda Lee (for whom Jackie & her longtime writing partner Sharon Sheeley wrote a number of hits), Lesley Gore, Little Eva, Dee Dee Sharp, Mary Wells, Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark and Helen Shapiro plus groups such as The Ronettes, The Supremes, The Marvelettes, The Crystals, The Chiffons, The Shirelles, The Shangri-Las, The Dixie Cups, The Orlons, Martha & The Vandellas, The Exciters and The Toys.

In addition to her mesmerizing vocals, most of Jackie’s singles after “Needles And Pins” displayed her other formidable talent, that of songwriter.  “When You Walk In The Room” is a first-class example of the complete DeShannon package:  a milestone Jackie composition that she delivered vocally with an immediacy which dares you not to savor every last word.  When she sings “I can feel that something pounding in my brain”, you find yourself totally sharing that experience.  This remarkable two and a half minutes of vinyl pleasure was made even more extraordinary by another of Jack Nitzsche’s symphonic arrangements – this time with castanets added to the glorious mix – and the whole miraculous encounter was produced by Dick Glasser, then head of Liberty’s publishing arm, Metric Music.

I could go on and will at a later date but this time out, I wanted to share with you the following list I’ve put together of what I consider to be Jackie’s finest compositions.  The versions I’ve listed are far from being the only ones that exist but they provide a good cross-section of other artists who’ve recorded DeShannon songs.  My wife and I have a saying that goes “All Jackie, All The Time” which is partly our mantra for telling as many folks as possible about Jackie’s writing talents and partly the affection that we have for Jackie as a human being.  I must share one personal story with you: some months back, we’d had dinner with Jackie and she invited us to listen to a new song she’d recently written.  “I’ll play it in my car before we leave” she said so we climbed in her vehicle and she hit the play button on her dashboard;  the track began and then suddenly she started singing live, right there and then.  I was suddenly the record-buying fan that I guess I always have been, finding it hard to believe that I was sitting beside the Jackie DeShannon as she was singing with all that powerful immediacy that has always been such an unmistakable quality of her records. Needles And Pins? – I could certainly feel them right there and then!


“Baby Bye-O” (Jackie DeShannon/Sharon Sheeley)
By The Everly Brothers (Warner Bros: 1963)
By The Fleetwoods (Dolton: 1963)
By Bernie Schwarz (Warner Bros: 1965)

Baby That’s Me” (JD/Jack Nitzsche)
By The Cake (Decca: 1967)
By The Fashions (Cameo: 1964)
By Lesley Gore (Mercury: 1965)

Baby (When Ya Kiss Me)” (JD/SS)
By Jackie DeShannon (Liberty: 1961)

Bad Water” (JD/Randy Myers/Jimmy Holiday)
By Jackie DeShannon (Capitol: 1971)
By Doris Duke (Mankind: 1972)
By Ed Frank’s New Orleans Rhythm & Blues Band (504: 1989)
By Dorothy Morrison (MGM: 1972)
By The Raeletts (Tangerine: 1971) US #58 Pop, #40 R&B
By Peggy Scott-Adams (Mardis Gras: 2004)
By Gene Watson (Resco: 1975) US #87 Country

Bette Davis Eyes” (JD/Donna Weiss)
By Jackie DeShannon (Columbia: 1975)
By Kim Carnes (EMI America: 1981) US #1 Pop, #15 AC, UK #10
By The Chipmunks (RCA)
By Gwyneth Paltrow (“Duets” soundtrack) (Hollywood: 2000)
By Sylvie Vartan (RCA: c.1983)

Breakaway” (JD/SS)
By Jackie DeShannon (Imperial: 1963)
By The Detroit Cobras (Sympathy For The Record Industry: 1998)
By Beryl Marsden (UK Columbia: 1965)
By Piccola Pupa (Warner Bros: 1964)
By Irma Thomas (Imperial: 1964)
By Tracey Ullman (Stiff: 1983) UK #4, US #70 Pop (in ’84)

Brighton Hill” (JD/Randy Myers/Jimmy Holiday)
By Jackie DeShannon (Imperial: 1970) US #9 AC, #82 Pop

Come And Stay With Me” (JD)
By Cher (Imperial: 1965)
By Jackie DeShannon (Imperial: 1968)
By Marianne Faithfull (UK Decca/London: 1965) UK #4, US #26 Pop
By Waylon Jennings (RCA: 1969)
By Bobby Vee (Liberty: 1966)

Don’t Doubt Yourself Babe” (JD)
By The Byrds (Columbia: 1965)

Don’t Turn Your Back On Me Babe” (JD)
By Jackie DeShannon (Imperial: 1965)
By Mike Sheridan’s Lot (UK Columbia: 1966)

Dum Dum” (JD/SS)
By Brenda Lee (Decca: 1961) US #4 Pop, UK #22

Each Time” (JD)
By The Bon-Bons (Coral: 1964)
By The Searchers (UK Pye: 1964)

Heart In Hand” (JD/SS)
By Brenda Lee (Decca: 1962) US #15 Pop, #4 AC

“(He’s) The Great Impostor” (JD/SS)
By The Fleetwoods (Dolton: 1961) US #30 Pop
Holly Would” (JD)
By Jackie DeShannon (Imperial: 1968)
By Ray Sanders (Imperial: 1970)

I Must Be Dreaming” (JD/SS)
By Jewel Brown (Liberty: 1962)

Just Like Him” (JD)
By P.J. Proby (Liberty: 1965)
By David Wilcox (UK CBS: 1966)

Look What You Started” (JD)
By Gloria Jones (Minit: 1968)

Love Will Find A Way” (JD/Randy Myers/Jimmy Holiday)
By Jackie DeShannon (Imperial: 1969) US #11 AC, #40 Pop

The Other Side Of Town” (JD/SS)
By P.J. Proby (Liberty: 1962)

The Prince” (JD/SS)
By Jackie DeShannon (Liberty: 1962)

Put A Little Love In Your Heart” (JD/Randy Myers/Jimmy Holiday)
By Jackie DeShannon (Imperial: 1969) US #4 Pop, #2 AC
By The Dave Clark Five (UK Columbia: 1969) UK #31
By Susan Raye (Capitol: 1970) US #30 Country
By Annie Lennox & Al Green (A&M: 1988) US #2 AC, #9 Pop (in ’89), UK #28
By Ed Ames (RCA)
By Eddy Arnold (RCA: 1971)
By Cilla Black (UK Parlophone: 1970)
By Kenny Burrell with Johnny Pate & His Orchestra (Verve: 1969)
By Floyd Cramer (RCA)
By The Mike Curb Congregation (CoBurt: 1970)
By Kiki Dee (Motown: recorded in 1969)
By Judith Durham (UK EMI: 1996)
By Ella Fitzgerald (Pablo: 1971)
By Marcia Griffiths (Trojan: 1969)
By The Isley Brothers (T-Neck: 1972)
By Gladys Knight & The Pips (Soul: 1975)
By The Lettermen (Capitol: 1973)
By Lulu (Globe: 2005)
By Anne Murray (Straightway: 1999)
By Dolly Parton (Sony: 1993)
By The Righteous Brothers (Verve)
By David Ruffin (Motown: 1969)
By The Soul Stirrers (Miracle: 1989)
By Billie Jo Spears (United Artists: 1970)
By Andy Williams (Columbia: 1979)

River Of Love” (JD/Randy Myers/Jimmy Holiday)
By Jackie DeShannon (Imperial: 1969)

She Don’t Understand Him Like I Do” (JD/Randy Newman)
By Jackie DeShannon (Liberty: 1964)

As “He Don’t Understand You
By Brian Hyland (Philips: 1965)

So Deep” (JD/SS)
By Brenda Lee (Decca: 1962) US #52 Pop

Splendor In The Grass” (JD)
By Jackie DeShannon (Imperial: 1966)
By The Boys (Buddah: 1965)
By Gulliver’s People (UK Parlophone: 1966)

Tears From An Angel” (JD/SS)
By Troy Shondell (Liberty: 1962) US #77 Pop

Thank You Darlin’ (JD/SS)
By Ricky Nelson (Imperial: 1963)

That’s The Name Of The Game” (JD/George Tipton)
By Jackie DeShannon (Imperial: 1967)
By Deane Haweley (Sundown)

Till You Say You’ll Be Mine” (JD)
By Jackie DeShannon (Liberty: 1963)
By The Fourmost (UK Parlophone: 1965)
By Olivia Newton-John (UK Decca: 1966)
By The Searchers (UK Pye: 1965)

What Was Your Day Like” (JD/Randy Myers/Jimmy Holiday)
By Jackie DeShannon (Imperial: 1969)

When You Walk In The Room” (JD)
By Jackie DeShannon (Liberty: 1964) US #99 Pop
By The Searchers (UK Pye/Kapp: 1964) UK #3, US #35 Pop
By Child (Ariola Hansa: 1978) UK #38
By Stephanie Winslow (Warner-Curb: 1981) US #29 Country
By Tight Fit (part of an 8-song medley “Back To The 60’s”)
(Jive: 1981) UK #4, US #89 Pop
By Paul Carrack (Chrysalis: 1987) UK #48
By Pam Tillis (Arista: 1994) US #2 Country
By Status Quo (Polygram TV: 1995) UK #34
By Cilla Black (UK Parlophone)
By Karla Bonoff (Columbia: 1979)
By Chris Hillman (Sugar Hill: 1998)
By Agnetha Faltskog (WEA: 2004)
By Paul Nicholas (Polydor: 1977)
By Daniel O’Donnell (DMG TV: 2004)
By Del Shannon (Liberty: 1966)
By Smokie (CMC: 2000)
By Bobby Vee (Liberty: 1966)
By The Ventures (Dolton: 1964)

With You In Mind” (JD)
By Marianne Faithfull (London: 1966)

You Won’t Forget Me” (JD/SS)
By Jackie DeShannon (Liberty: 1962)
By Kerri Downs (Epic: 1962)
By Peter Jones (Reprise: 1962)
By Sandie Shaw (UK Pye: 1965)
By Bobby Vee (Liberty: 1962)
US chart positions quoted above courtesy of Joel Whitburn & Billboard Magazine


Movie Quote of yesteryear:

“It isn’t what you are, it’s what you don’t become that hurts”

Spoken by Oscar Levant as the sarcastic pianist-friend of classical violinist Paul Boray played by John Garfield in “Humoresque” (Warner Bros: 1946)

Rock on!


Previous postings of “The Door To Yesterday” newsletter can be found at www.wizwas.com

“The Door To Yesterday” #21

Food for thought

For the majority of us, semolina pilchards is a name that occurs in the Beatle song “I Am The Walrus” and supposedly was a food that John Lennon ate growing up.  Whatever its origins,  it’s a dish that always sounds extremely British.  The same goes for ‘Bubble And Squeak’ which invariably sounded to me like a music hall double act but was in fact the name for a meal of leftovers from a roast dinner.

My parents were from a generation who went to great lengths never to waste food, a habit grown out of the austerity of wartime living.  Of course, every country has its own names for different food stuffs and Britain was no exception, being home to such delicacies as the ‘spotted dick’ (suet pudding with currants and custard) and the ‘bakewell tart’ which contained a mixture of jam and almond filling.

As my good friend (and fellow Englishman) Bob Mercer recently reminded me, folks in the north of England used to call the mid-day meal ‘dinner’ and the evening one was described as ‘tea’ or ‘supper’.  All very confusing!

Recommended article of the week:

The Most Corporate Band In America” by John Jurgensen (Wall Street Journal: 4/9/10)

Movie Quote of yesteryear:

I’ve been looking at her kind ever since my voice changed

Referring to the opposite sex, this was spoken by Clark Gable as the rugged boss of a Malaysian rubber plantation in “Red Dust” (MGM: 1932)


Duane Eddy

Rock & Pop Instrumentals!

I was a huge fan of instrumental 45’s in the late 50’s and 60’s and during that era, there were so many to choose from.  In Britain we had Cliff Richard’s backing group The Shadows who, less than two years after Cliff’s own hitmaking career took off, began charting their own course of massive-selling singles beginning with “Apache”.  That same year, 1960, saw America’s own instrumental group The Ventures enter the charts for the first time with their original version of “Walk Don’t Run”.

So with all these wonderful melodies and memories spinning around in my brain, I have attempted to list below my most favorite instrumental singles of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s and you will notice that there is understandably a sprinkling of UK hits;  some of these are British originals but then some are British covers of American successes – for instance, the mambo favorite “Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White” which had been featured on the soundtrack of the 1955 Jane Russell movie “Underwater!” exploded on the U.S. charts via a version by RCA’s bandleader Perez Prado;  over in London, EMI house producer Norrie Paramor cut a version with local artist Eddie Calvert who was billed on his records as ‘The Man With The Golden Trumpet’.  Calvert had already proved himself a golden commodity having soared to the heights of the UK charts with “Oh Mein Papa” eventually hitting #1, a feat he repeated with his 78 of “Cherry Pink”.

I’m sure I’ve missed a few of my favorites out so I’ll probably update this list down the road but in the meantime, here goes…

African Waltz” (Galt MacDermot)
By Dankworth & His Orchestra (UK Columbia: 1961)“
” (Peter Green)
By Fleetwood Mac (UK CBS: 1973)
All About My Girl” (Jimmy McGriff)
By Jimmy McGriff (Sue: 1963)
All Night Long” (Joe Houston/Jules Taub)
By Joe Houston (Money: 1954)
Alley Cat” (Bent Fabricius-Bjerre)|
By Bent Fabric & His Piano (Atco: 1962)
Apache” (Jerry Lordan )
By Bert Weedon (UK Top Rank: 1960) (the original version)
and by The Shadows (UK Columbia: 1960)
Asia Minor” (Jimmy Wisner)
By Kokomo (Felsted: 1961)
At The Sign Of The Swingin’ Cymbal” (Brian Fahey)
By Brian Fahey & His Orchestra (UK Parlophone: 1960)
Autumn Leaves” (Joseph Kosma/Jacques Prevert/Johnny Mercer)
By Roger Williams (Kapp: 1955)

Baby Elephant Walk” (Henry Mancini)
By Lawrence Welk & His Orchestra (Dot: 1962)
Batman Theme” (Neal Hefti)
By The Marketts (Warner Bros: 1966)
Beatnik Fly” (Tom King/John Paris)
By Johnny & The Hurricanes (Warwick: 1960)
Beautiful Obsession” (Ernie Freeman/Joe Saraceno)
By Sir Chauncey & His Exciting Strings (Warner Bros: 1960)
Because They’re Young” (Don Costa/Wally Gold/Aaron Schroeder)
By Duane Eddy & The Rebels (Jamie: 1960)
Big Guitar” (Larry Coleman/Frank De Rosa/Robert Genovese)
By The Owen Bradley Quintet (Decca: 1958)
Black Stockings” (John Barry)
By The John Barry Seven (UK Columbia: 1960)
Bonanza” (Jerry Livingston/Ray Evans)
By Al Caiola & His Orchestra (United Artists: 1961)
Bongo Rock” (Preston Epps/Arthur Egnoian)
By Preston Epps (Original Sound: 1959)
and by The Incredible Bongo Band (MGM: 1973)
Boo Boo Stick Beat” (Murrey Harman/John D. Loudermilk)
By Chet Atkins (RCA: 1959)
Bossa Nova U.S.A.” (Dave Brubeck)
By The Dave Brubeck Quartet (Columbia: 1962)
Brass Buttons” (Norman Petty)
By The String-A-Longs (Warwick: 1961)
Brontosaurus Stomp” (Ed Cobb/Lincoln Mayorga
)By The Piltdown Men (Capitol: 1960)
Bulldog” (George Tomsco)
By The Fireballs (Top Rank: 1960)
Bumble Boogie” (Jack Fina)
By B. Bumble & The Stingers (Rendezvous: 1961)
Bust Out” (Dave Benjamin)
By The Busters (Arlen: 1963)

Can Can ‘62” (Arr: Peter Jay)
By Peter Jay & The Jaywalkers (UK Decca: 1962)
Canadian Sunset” (Eddie Heywood)
By Hugo Winterhalter & His Orchestra with Eddie Heywood (RCA: 1956)
Cast Your Fate To The Wind” (Vince Guaraldi)
By The Vince Guaraldi Trio (Fantasy: 1962)
and by Sounds Orchestral (UK Piccadilly: 1964)
Cerveza” (Marjorie Rogers)
By Boots Brown & His Blockbusters (RCA: 1958)
Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White” (Louiguy/Jacques LaRue/Mack David)
By Eddie Calvert (UK Columbia: 1955)
Chi Mai” (Ennio Morricone)
By Ennio Morricone (UK BBC: 1981)
Cissy Strut” (Leo Nocentelli/Art Neville/George Porter/Joseph Modeliste)
By The Meters (Josie: 1969)
Classical Gas” (Mason Williams)
By Mason Williams (Warner Bros: 1968)
Cleo’s Mood” (Autry DeWalt/Harvey Fuqua/Willie Woods)
By Jr. Walker & The All Stars (Soul: 1965)
The Clouds” (Julius Dixon/Johnny Lehman)
By The Spacemen (Alton: 1959
)“The Cruel Sea” (Mike Maxfield)
By The Dakotas (UK Parlophone: 1963)
Desafinado” (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
By Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd (Verve: 1962)
Diamonds” (Jerry Lordan)
By Jet Harris & Tony Meehan (UK Decca: 1963)
Do It Any Way You Wanna” (Leon Huff)
By People’s Choice (TSOP: 1975)
Doing It To Death” (James Brown)
By Fred Wesley & The J.B’s (People: 1973)
El Rancho Rock” (Ben Raleigh/Silvano Ramos)
By The Champs (Challenge: 1958)
El Watusi” (Ray Barretto)
By Ray Barretto Y Su Charanga Moderna (Tico: 1963)
The Entertainer” (Scott Joplin)
By Marvin Hamlisch (MCA: 1974)
Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky (From Now On)” (Allen Toussaint)
By Lou Donaldson (Blue Note: 1970)
Exodus” (Ernest Gold)
By Ferrante & Teicher (United Artists: 1960)
F.B.I.” (Peter Gormley)
By The Shadows (UK Columbia: 1961)
Flamingo” (Edmund Anderson/Ted Grouya)
By Earl Bostic & His Orchestra (King: 1951)
Forty Miles Of Bad Road” (Duane Eddy/Al Casey)
By Duane Eddy, His ‘Twangy’ Guitar’ & The Rebels (Jamie: 1959)
Frankenstein” (Edgar Winter)
By The Edgar Winter Group (Epic: 1973)
Funky Drummer (Part 1)” (James Brown)
By James Brown (King: 1970)
“(Ghost) Riders In The Sky” (Stan Jones)
By The Ramrods (Amy: 1960)
Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky)” (Bill Conti/Carol Connors/Ayn Robbins)
By Bill Conti (United Artists: 1977)
The Good, The Bad And The Ugly” (Ennio Morricone)
By Hugo Montenegro, His Orchestra & Chorus (RCA: 1968)
Grazing In The Grass” (Harry Elston/Philemon Hou)
By Hugh Masekela (Uni: 1968)
The Green Mosquito” (Art Roberts/Art Wander)
By The Tune Rockers (United Artists: 1958)
Green Onions” (Steve Cropper/Al Jackson Jr./Booker T. Jones/Lewie Steinberg)
By Booker T. & The MG’s (Stax: 1962)
“Guitar Boogie Shuffle”
(Arthur Smith)
Bert Weedon (UK Top Rank: 1959)

Hang ‘Em High” (Dominic Frontiere)
By Booker T. & The MG’s (Stax: 1968)
Hang On Sloopy” (Wes Farrell/Bert Russell)
By The Ramsey Lewis Trio (Cadet: 1965)
The Happy Organ” (David Clowney/James Kriegsmann/Ken Wood)
By Dave ‘Baby’ Cortez (Clock: 1959)
Harlem Nocturne” (Earle Hagen)
By The Viscounts (Madison: 1959)
Hawaii Five-O” (Mort Stevens)
By The Ventures (Liberty: 1969)

Hide Away” (Freddy King/Sonny Thompson)
By Freddy King (Federal: 1961)
Hip Hug-her” (Steve Cropper/Duck Dunn/Al Jackson Jr./Booker T. Jones)
By Booker T. & The MG’s (Stax: 1967)
Hit And Miss” (John Barry)
By The John Barry Seven Plus Four (UK Columbia: 1960)
Hocus Pocus” (Jan Akkerman/Thijs Van Leer)
By Focus (Sire: 1973)
Hole In The Wall” (Steve Cropper/Al Jackson Jr./Booker T. Jones/N. Nathan)
By The Packers (Pure Soul: 1965)

The Honeydripper” (Joe Liggins)
By Joe Liggins & His Honeydrippers (Specialty: 1950)
Honky Tonk (Parts 1 & 2)” (Bill Doggett/Billy Butler/Clifford Scott/Shep Shepherd)
By Bill Doggett (King: 1956)
The Horse” (Jesse James)
By Cliff Nobles & Co. (Phil-LA Of Soul: 1968)
Hot Pastrami” (Dessie Rozier)
By The Dartells (Dot: 1963)
The Huckle-Buck” (Andy Gibson)
By Paul Williams & His Hucklebuckers (Savoy: 1949)
The Hustle” (Van McCoy)
By Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony (Avco: 1975)

I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman” (Roger Greenaway/Roger Cook)
By Whistling Jack Smith (Deram: 1967)
I’ve Got A Woman (Part 1)” (Ray Charles)
By Jimmy McGriff (Sue: 1962)
Image – Part 1” (Joe Glenn/Robert Sande)
By Hank Levine (ABC-Paramount: 1961)
The ‘In’ Crowd” (Billy Page)
By The Ramsey Lewis Trio (Argo: 1965)
In The Mood” (Joe Garland/Andy Razaf)
By Ernie Fields & His Orchestra (Rendezvous: 1959)

The James Bond Theme” (Monty Norman)
By The John Barry Orchestra (UK Columbia: 1962)
Java” (Allen Toussaint)
By Al Hirt (RCA: 1963)
Jingo”(aka “Jin-Go-Lo-Ba”) (Michael Olatunji)
By Santana (Columbia: 1969)
Jivin’ Around” (Ernie Freeman/John Dolphin)
By The Ernie Freeman Combo (Cash: 1955)
Keem-O-Sabe” (Leonard Borisoff/Bernard Binnick)
By The Electric Indian (United Artists: 1969)
Kon-Tiki” (Michael Carr)
By The Shadows (UK Columbia: 1961)

Last Date” (Floyd Cramer)
By Floyd Cramer (RCA: 1960)
The Last Minute (Part 1)” (Jimmy McGriff)
By Jimmy McGriff (Sue: 1963)
Last Night” (Charles Axton/Gil Caple/Chips Moman/Floyd Newman/Jerald Smith)
By The Mar-Keys (Satellite: 1961)
Let There Be Drums (Sandy Nelson/Richard Podolor)
By Sandy Nelson (Imperial: 1961)
Let’s Go (Pony)” (Lanny Duncan/Robert Duncan)
By The Routers (Warner Bros: 1962)

The Lonely Bull (El Solo Torro)” (Sol Lake)
By The Tijuana Brass Featuring Herb Alpert (A&M: 1962)
The Lonely Surfer” (Jack Nitzsche/Marty Cooper)
By Jack Nitzsche (Reprise: 1963)
Love Is Blue (L’Amour Est Bleu)” (Andre Popp)
By Paul Mauriat & His Orchestra (Philips: 1968)
Love Theme From Romeo And Juliet” (Nino Rota)
By Henry Mancini, His Orchestra & Chorus (RCA: 1969)

Machine Gun” (Milan Williams)
By The Commodores (Motown: 1974)
The Madison Time” (Ray Bryant/Edwin Morrison)
By The Ray Bryant Combo (Columbia: 1960)
The Magnificent Seven” (Elmer Bernstein)
By Al Caiola & His Orchestra (United Artists: 1961)
Mah-Na-Mah-Na” (Piero Umiliani)
By Piero Umiliani (Ariel: 1969)
Man Of Mystery” (Michael Carr)
By The Shadows (UK Columbia: 1960)

The Man With The Golden Arm” (Elmer Bernstein)
By Billy May & His Orchestra (Capitol: 1956)
Manhattan Spiritual” (Billy Maxted)
By The Reg Owen Orchestra (Palette: 1958)
March From The River Kwai & Colonel Bogey” (Arnold/Alford)
By Mitch Miller
McDonald’s Cave” (Ed Cobb/Lincoln Mayorga)
By The Piltdown Men (Capitol: 1960)
Memphis” (Chuck Berry)
By Lonnie Mack (Fraternity: 1963)
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” (Josef Zawinul)
By Cannonball Adderley (Capitol: 1966)
Miami Vice Theme” (Jan Hammer/John Petersen)
By Jan Hammer (MCA: 1985)
Midnight Cowboy” (John Barry)
By Ferrante & Teicher (United Artists: 1969)
Midnight In Moscow” (Kenny Ball)
By Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen (UK Pye: 1961)
Midnighter” (Dave Burgess)
By The Champs (Challenge: 1958)
Misirlou” (Nicholas Roubanis/Milton Leeds/S.K. Russell/Fred Wise)
By Dick Dale & The Del-Tones (Deltone: 1962)
Mission: Impossible” (Lalo Schifrin)
By Lalo Schifrin (Dot: 1968)

Moovin’ And Groovin’” (Duane Eddy/Lee Hazlewood)
By Duane Eddy (Jamie: 1958)
Mr. Lucky” (Henry Mancini)
By Henry Mancini & His Orchestra (RCA: 1960)
Mr. Rebel” (Edward Bertrand)
By Eddie & The Showmen (Liberty: 1963)
Music Box Dancer” (Frank Mills)
By Frank Mills (Polydor: 1978)
Music To Watch Girls Go By” (Sid Ramin)
By The Bob Crewe Generation (DynoVoice: 1967)

Nadia’s Theme (The Young And The Restless)” (Barry DeVorzon/Perry Botkin Jr.)
By Barry DeVorzon & Perry Botkin Jr. (A&M: 1976)
Never On Sunday” (Manos Hadjidakis)
By Don Costa & His Orchestra & Chorus (United Artists: 1960)
Night Train” (Jimmy Forrest/Lew Simpkins/Oscar Washington)
By Jimmy Forrest & His All Star Combo (United: 1952)
No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach’s In)” (Granville Burland/Costa/Gold)
By The T-Bones (Liberty: 1965)
Nut Rocker” (Kim Fowley)
By B. Bumble & The Stingers (Rendezvous: 1962)

On The Rebound” (Floyd Cramer)
By Floyd Cramer (RCA: 1961)
Orange Blossom Special” (Arr: Rickey Marino/Felix Slatkin)
By The Fantastic Fiddles Of Felix Slatkin (Liberty: 1962)
Out Of Limits” (Michael Z. Gordon)
By The Marketts (Warner Bros: 1963)

Patricia” (Perez Prado)
By Perez Prado & His Orchestra (RCA: 1958)
Penetration” (Steve Leonard)
By The Pyramids (Best: 1964)
Percolator (Twist)” (Lou Bideu/Ernie Freeman)
By Billy Joe & The Checkmates (Dore: 1962)
Perfidia” (Alberto Dominguez)
By The Ventures (Dolton: 1962)
Peter Gunn” (Henry Mancini)
By Ray Anthony & His Orchestra (Capitol: 1958)
and by Duane Eddy (Jamie: 1959)
Petite Fleur” (Sidney Bechet)
By Chris Barber’s Jazz Band (UK Pye Nixa: 1959)

The Pink Panther Theme” (Henry Mancini)
By Henry Mancini & His Orchestra (RCA: 1964)
Pipeline” (Brian Carman/Bob Spickard)
By The Chantays (Dot: 1962)
Poor Boy” (Mel Mitchell/David Sanderson)
By The Royaltones (Jubilee: 1958)
The Poor People Of Paris” (Marguerite Monnot/Jack Lawrence/Rene Rouzaud)
By Winifred Atwell (UK Decca: 1956)
Prancing” (Ike Turner)
By Ike & Tina Turner’s Kings Of Rhythm (Sue: 1961)

Quiet Village” (Les Baxter)
By The Exotic Sounds Of Martin Denny (Liberty: 1959)
Quite A Party” (George Tomsco)
By The Fireballs (Warwick: 1961)

Ram-Bunk-Shush” (Lucky Millinder/Henry Glover/Jimmy Mundy)
By Bill Doggett (King: 1957)
Ramrod” (Al Casey)
By Duane Eddy & The Rebels (Jamie: 1958)
Raunchy” (Bill Justis/Sidney Manker)
By Bill Justis & His Orchestra (Phillips International: 1957)
and by Ernie Freeman (Imperial: 1957)
Rebel Rouser” (Duane Eddy/Lee Hazlewood)
By Duane Eddy & The Rebels (Jamie: 1958)
Red River Rock” (Tom King/Fred Mendelsohn/John Paris)
By Johnny & The Hurricanes (Warwick: 1959)

Rinky Dink” (David Clowney/Paul Winley)
By Dave ‘Baby’ Cortez (Chess: 1962)
Rise” (Andy Armer/Randy Badazz)
By Herb Alpert (A&M: 1979)
Rock And Roll Part 2” (Gary Glitter/Mike Leander)
By Gary Glitter (Bell: 1972)
Rumble” (Milton Grant/Fred Wray Sr.)
By Link Wray & His Ray Men (Cadence: 1958)

Scratchy” (Travis Wammack/Gene Chrisman/Prentiss McPhail)
By Travis Wammack (Ara: 1964)
Shake And Fingerpop” (Autry DeWalt/Lawrence Horn/Willie Woods)
By Jr. Walker & The All Stars (Soul: 1965)
Shimmy Shimmy Walk – Part 1” (Billy Lee Riley)
By The Megatons (Checker: 1962)
Shotgun” (Autry DeWalt)
By Jr. Walker & The All Stars (Soul: 1965)
Side Saddle” (Trevor Sanford aka Russ Conway)
By Russ Conway (UK Columbia: 1959)
Side Winder” (Maurice Marshall)
By Wes Dakus (United Artists: 1964)

Slaughter On Tenth Avenue” (Richard Rodgers)
By The Ventures (Dolton: 1964)
Sleep Walk” (Ann Farina/John Farina/Santo Farina)
By Santo & Johnny (Canadian-American: 1959)
Sleepy Shores” (Johnny Pearson)
By The Johnny Pearson Orchestra (Penny Farthing: 1971)
Smokie – Part 2” (Bill Black)
By Bill Black’s Combo (Hi: 1959)

So Amazing” (Luther Vandross)
By Gerald Albright (Atlantic: 1987)
So Far Away” (Kent Harris/Hank Jacobs)
By Hank Jacobs (Sue: 1961)
Soft Summer Breeze” (Eddie Heywood)
By Eddie Heywood (Mercury: 1956)
Soul Finger” (James Alexander/Ronnie Caldwell/Ben Cauley/Carl Cunningham/Phalon Jones Jr./James King)
By The Bar-Kays (Volt: 1967)
Soul Serenade” (Curtis Ousley/Luther Dixon)
By King Curtis (Capitol: 1964)
Soul Twist” (Curtis Ousley)
By King Curtis & The Noble Knights (Enjoy: 1962)
Soulful Strut” (Eugene Record/William Sanders)
By Young-Holt Unlimited (Brunswick: 1968)

Spanish Harlem” (Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller)
By Sounds Incorporated (UK Columbia: 1964)
Star Wars” (John Williams)
By John Williams (20th Century: 1977)
Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band” (John Williams)
By Meco (Millennium: 1977)
Stick Shift” (Henry Bellinger aka H.B. Barnum)
By The Duals (Sue: 1961)
Stranger On The Shore” (Acker Bilk/Robert Mellin)
By Acker Bilk (UK Columbia: 1961)
Sucu Sucu”(Tarateno Rojas)
By Laurie Johnson & His Orchestra (UK Pye: 1961)
Summer Samba” (Marcos Valle/Paulo Valle)
By Walter Wanderley (Verve: 1966)
Surfer’s Stomp” (Joe Saraceno/Michael Z. Gordon)
By The Mar-Kets (Liberty: 1961)
“A Swingin’ Safari” (Bert Kaempfert)
By Billy Vaughn & His Orchestra (Dot: 1962)
The Swingin’ Shepherd Blues” (Moe Koffman/Kenny Jacobson/Rhoda Roberts)
By The Moe Koffman Quartette (Jubilee: 1958)

Take Five” (Paul Desmond)
By The Dave Brubeck Quartet (Columbia: 1961)
Tall Cool One” (Richard Dangel/John Greek/Kent Morrill)
By The Wailers (Golden Crest: 1959)
A Taste Of Honey” (Bobby Scott)
By Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass (A&M: 1965)
Teen Beat” (Sandy Nelson/Arthur Egnoian)
By Sandy Nelson (Original Sound: 1959)
Teensville” (Wayne Cogswell)
By Chet Atkins (RCA: 1960)
Telstar” (Joe Meek)
By The Tornados (UK Decca: 1962)
Tequila” (Chuck Rio)
By The Champs (Challenge: 1958)

Theme from Adventures In Paradise” (Lionel Newman)
By Jerry Byrd (Monument: 1960)
Theme From A Summer Place” (Max Steiner)
By Percy Faith & His Orchestra (Columbia: 1959)
Theme From Close Encounters Of The Third Kind” (John Williams)
By John Williams (Arista: 1977)
Theme From 633 Squadron” (Ron Goodwin)
By Ron Goodwin & His Orchestra (1973)
Theme From S.W.A.T.” (Barry DeVorzon)
By Rhythm Heritage (ABC: 1975)
Theme From The Apartment” (Charles Williams)
By Ferrante & Teicher (United Artists: 1960)
Theme From Z Cars” (Bridget Fry)
By Johnny Keating (UK Piccadilly: 1962)
The Third Man Theme” (Anton Karas)
By Anton Karas (London: 1950)

Time Is Tight” (Steve Cropper/Duck Dunn/Al Jackson Jr./Booker T. Jones)
By Booker T. & The MG’s (Stax: 1969)
Tom Hark” (Rupert Bopape)
By Elias & His Zigzag Jive Flutes (UK Columbia: 1958)
Tonight” (Leonard Bernstein)
By Ferrante & Teicher (United Artists: 1961)
Too Much Tequila” (Dave Burgess)
By The Champs (Challenge: 1960)
Topsy Part II” (Edgar Battle/Eddie Durham)
By Cozy Cole (Love: 1958)
Torquay” (George Tomsco)
By The Fireballs (Top Rank: 1959)
A Touch Of Velvet – A Sting Of Brass” (Mark Wirtz)
By The Mood Mosaic (UK Columbia: 1966)

Tracy’s Theme” (Robert Ascher)
By Spencer Ross & His Orchestra (Columbia: 1959)
TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia)” (Kenneth Gamble/Leon Huff)
By MFSB with The Three Degrees (Philadelphia International: 1974)
Tubular Bells” (Mike Oldfield)
By Mike Oldfield (Virgin: 1974)
Tuff” (Ace Cannon)
By Ace Cannon (Hi: 1961)
Twine Time” (Verlie Rice/Andre Williams)
By Alvin Cash & The Crawlers (Mar-V-Lus: 1964)
Twitchy” (Willie Joe Duncan)
By Rene Hall’s Orchestra Featuring Willie Joe (Specialty: 1957)

Unsquare Dance” (Dave Brubeck)
By The Dave Brubeck Quartet (Columbia: 1961)
Viva Tirado” (Gerald Wilson)
By El Chicano (Kapp: 1970)

Wack Wack” (Eldee Young/Isaac Holt/Donald Storball/Hysear Walker)
By The Young Holt Trio (Brunswick: 1966)
Wade In The Water” (Ramsey Lews)
By Ramsey Lewis (Cadet: 1966)
Walk – Don’t Run” (Johnny Smith)
By The Ventures (Blue Horizon/Dolton: 1960)
and by The John Barry Seven (UK Columbia: 1960)
A Walk In The Black Forest” (Horst Jankowski)
By Horst Jankowski, His Orchestra & Chorus (Mercury: 1965)
Walk On The Wild Side” (Elmer Bernstein)
By Jimmy Smith & The Big Band (Verve: 1962)
Walkin’ With Mr. Lee” (Lee Allen/Alvin Tyler)
By Lee Allen & His Band (Ember: 1957)

Washington Square” (Bob Goldstein)
By The Village Stompers (Epic: 1963)
Watermelon Man” (Herbie Hancock)
By Mongo Santamaria (Battle: 1963)
Wham!” (Lonnie Mack)
By Lonnie Mack (Fraternity: 1963)
Wheels” (Norman Petty/Richard Stephens/Jimmy Torres)
By The String-A-Longs (Warwick: 1960)
Whipped Cream” (Naomi Neville aka Allen Toussaint)
By The Stokes (Alon: 1964)
and by Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass (A&M: 1965)
White Silver Sands” (Charles Matthews)
By Bill Black’s Combo (Hi: 1960)

Wiggle Wobble” (Les Cooper)”
By Les Cooper & The Soul Rockers (Everlast: 1962)
Wild Weekend” (Tom Shannon/Philip Todaro)
By The Rockin’ Rebels (Swan: 1962)
Wipe Out” (Robert Berryhill/Patrick Connolly/James Fuller/Ronald Wilson)
By The Surfaris (Dot: 1963)
Wonderful Land” (Jerry Lordan)
By The Shadows (UK Columbia: 1962)
Wonderland By Night” (Klauss-Gunter Neuman/Lincoln Chase)
By Bert Kaempfert & His Orchestra (Decca: 1960)
Woo-Hoo” (George McGraw)
By The Rock-A-Teens (Roulette: 1959)

Yakety Sax” (Boots Randolph/James Rich)
By Boots Randolph (Monument: 1963)
Yellow Bird” (Norman Luboff/Marilyn Keith/Alan Bergman)
By Arthur Lyman (Hi Fi: 1961)
You Can’t Sit Down, Part 2” (Dee Clark/Kal Mann/Cornell Muldrow)
By The Phil Upchurch Combo (Boyd: 1961)

Zambesi” (Nico Carstens/Anton DeWaal)
By Lou Busch (Capitol: 1956)
Zorba The Greek” (Mikis Theodorakis)
By Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass (A&M: 1965)

The above list includes so many famous musicians and artists;  I wish I had the time and the space to write about each one, but at least, here are some random notes on a handful of them.   Legendary tenor saxman Plas Johnson was featured on Hank Levine’s famous recording “Image” (Parts 1 & 2) which was adapted from a west coast radio jingle. Incidentally, Hank was also musical director on “Walk With Him”, the inspirational John Wayne single written by Henry Vars & By Dunham which Liberty released in November 1961.

Certain names are pseudonyms of outstanding musicians: for instance Sir Chancey (who recorded “Beautiful Obsession”) was Ernie Freeman, while Kokomo (“Asia Minor”) was Jimmy Wisner; this practice was commonplace back then;  in fact, Lou Busch (whose “Zambesi” hit I list above) had a second career recording piano instrumentals under the name Joe ‘Fingers’ Carr.   Incidentally, British songwriter Jerry Lordan is first and foremost remembered for writing the million-selling guitar instrumental “Apache”,  but he also had a career as a singer recording for producer George Martin;  his most successful seller under his own name was “Who Could Be Bluer” which was a UK Top 20 hit in 1960 and a couple of years later, another of his compositions namely “I’m Just A Baby” was chart record there by teen singer Louise Cordet.

Finally, a note about the South African hit “Tom Hark” by Elias & His ZigZag Jive Flutes which was a major British seller in 1958;  the tune was successfully revived under that same title in 1980 by UK group The Piranhas but the melody was recorded as “Windy” by the great Lousiana R&B artist & producer Paul Gayten on Argo in 1958.

Rock on!


Previous postings of “The Door To Yesterday” newsletter can be found at www.wizwas.com

“The Door To Yesterday” #20

Farewell Charlie

It’s always a sobering moment when you hear that someone of roughly the same age as yourself has died.  It’s particularly disturbing when that person is not only somebody you knew but also a friend you held in very high regard.

I hadn’t seen Charlie Gillett for the past few years but we’d stayed in touch via the occasional email.  Back in 1971, after the first edition of his critically-acclaimed and hugely influential book “The Sound Of The City: The Rise Of Rock And Roll” was published, he compiled a fine LP of New Orleans R&B which I shepherded through to its release on United Artists Records. He used to come by the UA offices in London’s Mortimer Street where I was label manager and I’d give him copies of vintage R&B tracks particularly from the Imperial and Aladdin labels.

Last year, the good folks over at Ace Records in London issued a wonderful collection of some of the favorite tracks that Charlie played on his legendary “Honky Tonk” show on BBC Radio London;  it includes “Let’s Have A Party” by Amos Milburn and Charlie wrote me saying: “In search of illustrative material (for the album) I found the Amos Milburn acetate you gave me which is reproduced and duly annotated in the booklet.  Your support for a novice journalist and DJ was invaluable back in those days”. I quote that because it gives an insight to what a gentleman he was – continuously giving credit to other folks and always being totally faithful to the music.

Ace’s Roger Armstrong tells me that he and Charlie were talking about and selecting tracks for a second volume of “Honky Tonk” before his untimely death.  Fingers crossed that it will see the light day in the months to come.  Charlie’s voice has been silenced but his impeccable taste in music will surely live on.

Charlie Gillett: British author, DJ, broadcaster, musicologist, record label owner and music publisher (1942-2010)

Movie Quote of yesteryear:

“The nice thing about buying food for a man is that you don’t have to laugh at his jokes

Spoken by Veronica Lake as the wise-cracking would-be actress to Joel McCrea as the incognito movie director in “Sullivan’s Travels” (Paramount: 1941)

Rock on!


“The Door To Yesterday” #19

Have guitar, will mesmerize !

Jimi Hendrix

Jeff Beck

Recently, both the New York and Los Angeles Times ran articles about outstanding rock guitarists: Larry Rohter (NYT) wrote about Jeff Beck (“A Guitar Hero Won’t Play The Game”) and Randy Lewis (LAT) chronicled plans for Jimi Hendrix’s legacy of recordings to be restored and reissued beginning next month.  Then last Thursday, Will Friedwald delivered a fine piece about the legacy of European gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt in the Wall Street Journal and on the last Sunday of January, Nate Chinen profiled jazz guitarist Pat Metheny in the New York Times.

These four stories together with the recent Grammy® Awards show tribute to Les Paul prompted me to make the following list of outstanding guitarists past and present.  Please remember that this is a list of my favorite players –it’s in strict alphabetical order and is not intended to be definitive in any way.

Duane Allman (1946-1971) – co-founder of The Allman Brothers Band with his keyboard-playing brother Gregg
Chet Atkins (1924-2001)
Nashville’s legendary studio guitarist
Jeff Beck (1944-  )
– His interpretation of Lennon/McCartney’s “Day In The Life” will never be bettered
George Benson (1943 – )
Chuck Berry (1926-  )
– Rock’s greatest single songwriter, a superb guitarist…and he duckwalks!
Ritchie Blackmore (1945-  )
– As a member of Deep Purple, Ritchie delivered the unforgettable guitar riff that opens “Smoke On The Water”

Mike Bloomfield (1944-1981)
Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown (1924-2005)
– Blues pioneer known particularly for “Okie Dokie Stomp” in 1954
Roy Buchanan (1939-1988)
Paul Burlison (1929-2003)
– Key member of legendary rockabilly group, Johnny Burnette’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Trio
Kenny Burrell (1931-  )

James Burton (1939-  )
– Rightly recognized for his stellar playing on Rick Nelson’s early hits
Charlie Christian (1916-1942) Outstanding jazz player who led the way in developing electrical guitar
Eric Clapton (1945-  )

Albert Collins (1932-1993)
– Blues guitarist known as the ‘Master Of The Telecaster
Ry Cooder (1947-  )

Pee Wee Crayton (1914-1985)
Steve Cropper (1941-  )
Dick Dale (1937-  )
– Listen to his version of “Misirlou” and realize why Dick Dale is known as the ‘King Of The Surf Guitar’
Dave Davies (1947-  ) – Ray Davies’ brother who created the Kinks’ unforgettable riff in “You Really Got Me”
Bo Diddley (1928-2008)
– whose syncopated “chunk-a-chunk-a-chunk’ rhythm will never leave us.
Snooks Eaglin (1936-2009) – Crescent city guitarist god; key song: “Funky Malaguena”
Duane Eddy (1938-  ) – Originator of the twangy guitar sound of the late 50’s and early 60’s.
Tal Farlow (1921-1998)
Lowell Fulson (1921-1999)
Freddie Green (1911-1987)
– Key sideman with Count Basie & His Orchestra
Grant Green (1931-1979)

Peter Green (1946-  )
– Guitarist with both John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and, in their early days, Fleetwood Mac
Buddy Guy (1936-  )
– His 1991 album “Damn Right, I’ve Got The Blues” is essential listening
Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970)
– Among many highlights: “Voodoo Child” and “The Wind Cries Mary”
Smokey Hogg (1914-1960)
Lightnin’ Hopkins (1912-1982) – Blues singer/guitarist

Tony Iommi (1948-  )
– Black Sabbath’s guitarist whose influential contributions included “Iron Man” from 1971
James Jamerson (1936-1983) – Motown’s legendary bass guitarist
Elmore James (1918-1963)
– Blues singer/guitarist – King of the slide guitar
Barney Kessel (1923-2004)

Albert King (1923-1992) –
Mississippi-born bluesman remembered for songs like “Born Under A Bad Sign”

B.B. King (1925-  )

Earl King (1934-2003)
– New Orleans guitarist whose song “Come On” was covered by Jimi Hendrix
Freddie King (1934-1976)
– His “Hideaway” (from 1961) remains one of the great guitar instrumentals of all time.
Mark Knopfler (1949-  ) – Scottish-born leader of the ‘Sultans Of Swing’ originators: Dire Straits
Cub Koda (1948-2000)
– His milestone song was “Smokin’ In The Boy’s Room” by his three-man group Brownsville Station in 1973

Roger McGuinn (of The Byrds (1942 – )
John McLaughlin (1942-  )
– British guitarist who founded the jazz-rock fusion group The Mahavishnu Orchestra
Wes Montgomery (1925-1968) – Among the finest jazz players of all time
Scotty Moore (1931-  )
– Outstanding guitarist who played on Elvis Presley’s Sun recordings
Leo Nocentelli (1946-  )
– The funky heartbeat of The Meters whose “Cissy Strut” (from 1969) still resonates to this day
Jimmy Page (1944-  ) – Jimmy’s solo on “Stairway To Heaven” is guaranteed to uplift any soul

Joe Pass (1929-1994)
– Jazz guitarist known for his great solo work plus several recordings with Ella Fitzgerald
Les Paul (1915-2009) – Absolute guitar wizard; his talent would fill a Hall Of Fame by itself.
Carl Perkins (1932-1998)
– Rockabilly singer/guitarist who wrote and sang “Blue Suede Shoes”
Django Reinhardt (1910-1953)
– Very influential Belgian-born gypsy jazz guitarist.  His most famous recording was “Nuages”. Keith Richards (1943-  )
Otis Rush (1934-  )

Richie Sambora (1959-  )
– Lead guitarist with Bon Jovi
Slash (1965-  ) Lead guitarist with Guns N’ Roses
Marv Tarplin (1941-  )
Motown guitarist who created mindblowing riffs for Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t That Peculiar” and The Miracles’ “The Tracks Of My Tears” Pete Townshend (1945-  )
Ike Turner (1931-2007)
– Ike remains sorely underrated as guitarist yet tracks such as “Prancing” (from 1961) prove how brilliant he was.

Stevie Ray Vaughan (1954-1990)
– Texas blues/rock guitarist whose version of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Tell Me” is absolutely faultless.
T-Bone Walker (1910-1975)
– Father of the modern electric blues guitar
Joe Walsh (1947-  )  –
Particularly memorable is Joe’s “Funk #49” from his days with The James Gang in 1970
Muddy Waters (1915-1983) – The world’s finest Hoochie Coochie Man
Johnny Winter (1944-  )

Ron Wood (1947-  )
Link Wray (1929-2005)
– Rumble on, dear sir
Neil Young (1945-  )
– Among his stellar moments, check out “Like A Hurricane” from 1977

With special mention of these guitar-dominated instrumental groups:

The Shadows
The Ventures

Plus special nods to two British guys: session guy Vic Flick who played the memorable guitar on Monty Norman’s “The James Bond Theme” under John Barry’s baton and Bert Weedon who had the first hit version of Jerry Lordan’s “Apache” and also scored on the UK charts with a fine remake of Arthur Smith’s 1945 “Guitar Boogie” which he recorded under the title “Guitar Boogie Shuffle”.

Recommended article of the week:

Abbey Road and the Day Studio Music Diedby Eric Felten (Wall Street Journal: 2/10/10)

Movie Quote of yesteryear:

When I married, I didn’t realize that in the Czerny family there was a streak of, shall we say, eccentricity.  I had warning: why else would his grandfather have sent me as an engagement present one roller skate covered with thousand island dressing?

Spoken by Claudette Colbert (as Eve Peabody, an American showgirl in Paris who via marriage becomes a Baroness) in “Midnight” (Paramount: 1939)

Rock on!


Previous postings of “The Door To Yesterday” newsletter can be found at www.wizwas.com

“The Door To Yesterday” #18

Disc-overing the past!

Photograph © BBC

The above photograph is certainly a step back in time to a bygone era when men in suits and ties and ladies in very correct dresses spun discs and operated tape machines at the BBC in London!  The Beeb had (and still does have) a vast record library but in those pre-computer days, everything was catalogued on an elaborate card filing system.  Each year, the radio and television industry sponsored a large show at the Earls Court exhibition centre in west London where the public went to see all the latest radio & TV home equipment and the BBC always had a stand;  radio programs were broadcast ‘live’ from the exhibition and one of the regular and popular segments put the efficiency of the BBC record library to the test.  Members of the public would be asked ‘live’ to choose a record which the library staff then had to locate and cue up while the dee-jay was interviewing the person concerned.

You have to bear in mind that, in the 50’s and 60’s, music was not as freely available as it is today and therein lays part of its charm.  It stands to reason that we put much more value on a record that we spent our pocket or hard-earned money on than today’s younger music fans do downloading songs so inexpensively and so easily.  I knew “Jody” by Del Shannon because it was the B side of his 1961 million-selling debut hit “Runaway” and if you paid for a 45, you played both sides.  Similarly, if you bought an LP, you played every track through at least once.  These days, it’s all too easy to skip to the next track after playing three or four bars of the previous song!

When I was at school, the BBC was only allowed to play so many hours of commercial records per week;  this stipulation was put in place to ensure that the Corporation broadcast many hours of specially recorded music, thereby guaranteeing the employment of local musicians.  Just as NBC in New York had its own Symphony Orchestra, so the BBC in London employed their own orchestras and bands.  One regular use of such groupings of musicians by the BBC was for a 30-minute daily radio program called “Music While You Work”;  introduced in 1940, it was initially designed for broadcast in factories to entertain wartime workers but its popularity with the home audience kept the program running until the late 1960’s.  The show even had its own signature tune titled “Calling All Workers” which was specially composed by Eric Coates.

Delicious Diahann returns!

Actress/singer Diahann Carroll made another appearance this past week on USA’s “White Collar”, the crime series on which she first appeared in its 2009 pilot episode.  She has recorded for several labels over the years including RCA, Columbia and Motown, but her output for the United Artists label particularly underlined her strength as a song stylist.  “Diahann Carroll/The André Previn Trio” was her first album for UA and is outstanding;  recorded at RCA in Los Angeles in September and October 1959 with Jack Lewis producing, it featured three songs by Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart (“Spring Is Here”, “Glad To be Unhappy” & “Nobody’s Heart”), two by Cole Porter (“It’s All Right With Me” & “Why Can’t You Behave”), one by George & Ira Gershwin (“But Not For Me”), one by Axel Stordahl, Paul Weston & Sammy Cahn (“I Should Care”), one by Jerome Kern & Leo Robin (“In Love In Vain”), one by Betty Comden, Adolph Green & Jule Styne (“The Party’s Over”), one by Jimmy McHugh & Harold Adamson (“Where Are You”)  plus two by maestro Previn and his then-wife Dory Langdon: “Change Of Heart” and “Gingerbread Joy”.  For me, “Where Are You” is the standout interpretation of the set and it begins with Mr. Previn’s piano laying out a simple introduction for Diahann’s clear-voiced yet tear-stained vocal.  As the song ends with no lyrical answer in sight, its easy to imagine that you’re sitting in a nightclub experiencing the performance ‘live’ while a solo pin spot embraces Ms. Carroll’s bowed head.

Farewell Bertie Wooster

R.I.P.: Ian Carmichael (1920-2010)

This outstanding British actor died peacefully on Friday.  He earned his reputation in a series of successful comedy films made by the Boulting brothers in the 1950’s including “Private’s Progress” ( 1956), “Lucky Jim” (1957), “Brothers In Law” (1957) and “I’m Alright Jack” (1959).  More than anyone else before or since, Ian Carmichael perfected the art of portraying buffoons and silly ass characters for whom audiences always retained a degree of compassion.  His television work included playing wealthy gentleman Bertie Wooster opposite Dennis Price as his manservant Jeeves in the BBC series “The World Of Wooster”;  premiering in 1965, the programs were based on a series of novels by P.G. Wodehouse.  He later also triumphed in the series which found him portraying Dorothy L. Sayers’ famous detective character, Lord Peter Wimsey;  produced by the BBC, these programs were shown here as part of the PBS ‘Mystery’ series.  Mr. Carmichael was born in Hull and still lived in Yorkshire, the county that was the setting for the ITV period hospital series “The Royal” in which he gave his last acting performances.

Favorite song of the week:

Are You Here”: the wistful opening cut from “The Sea”, Corinne Bailey Rae’s new album on Capitol.

Movie Quote of yesteryear:

Miss Caswell is an actress – a graduate of the Copacabana School of Dramatic Art

Spoken by George Sanders (as acerbic theater critic Addison DeWitt) as he introduced his protégée played by Marilyn Monroe to Bette Davis (as Broadway star Margo Channing) in “All About Eve” (20th Century Fox: 1950)

Rock on!


Previous postings of “The Door To Yesterday” newsletter can be found at www.wizwas.com


“The Door To Yesterday” #17

Signs Of The Times…

A highlight of my early visits to London was getting to see the larger-than-life advertising hoardings…the kind that were particularly prevalent in Piccadilly Circus, pictured above in 1963.

Coming from a small market town 100 miles north of the British capital, I was always mesmerized by those giant promotion displays.  The last time that my wife and I were in London, the ‘Circus’ was dominated by a huge Sanyo sign but back in the 1950’s and 1960’s, the Coca-Cola structure was a dominant force and next to it (as you can probably make out in the above photograph) was the Guinness clock although when I went to the capital on school trips, I remember their billboard bore the words “Guinness Is Good For You”, a slogan which seemed to disappear in later years.  Another company which always had a major spot in that area was Wrigley’s; boasting the wonders of their spearmint chewing gum, their board is also visible in the above picture, to the left of the London Pavilion sign for the Albert Finney movie “Tom Jones”.  So, knowing how much I love billboards and other exterior advertising structures, you can imagine how overwhelmed I was when I first visited New York;  after all, just the sight of a cigarette hoarding with imitation smoke emulating from the smoker’s mouth set the tone for America’s brilliant sense of in-your-face marketing and I’m so pleased that I witnessed that politically incorrect advertisement before it disappeared.

With all the recent press coverage of Kraft’s takeover of Britain’s own Cadbury Chocolate company, I thought it might be timely to remember a very famous advertising campaign by another storied candy manufacturer from across the water.  One of Fry’s famous brands was the Five Boys chocolate bar and its ancient and unforgettable ad is illustrated below.  Note the wording ‘Makers to T.M. The King & Queen’;  T.M. stood for Their Majestys .  Fry’s had been in business since the 1800’s!

Recommended article of the week:

How to break up with a stylist in record time” by Craig Wilson (USA Today: 1/27/10)

R&B Legends
#1:  Amos Milburn

Ace Records of London recently issued a terrific compilation CD called “Honky Tonk” containing 25 classic tracks selected by esteemed British rock writer and broadcaster Charlie Gillett.  Not surprisingly to anyone who knows of Charlie’s outstanding taste in music, the songs and performances are of a very high standard and among them is “Let’s Have A Party” by Amos Milburn.  Born in Houston, Texas, in 1927, Amos was an outstanding blues piano-playing singer whose most significant recordings were made for the west coast Aladdin label between 1948 and 1956.  With saxophonist/arranger Maxwell Davis producing, Amos began making his mark with “Chicken Shack Boogie”, a song he’d co-authored with a dentist’s wife called Lola Ann Cullum who had discovered him singing in a Houston nightclub; indeed, it was Ms. Cullum who convinced Eddie & Leo Mesner to sign Amos for their Aladdin label.  Ironically, though “Chicken Shack” was his breakthrough song in 1948, his powerful re-recording of it eight years later in New Orleans is the version most highly regarded today.

Amos is also remembered for a string of heartfelt drinking songs…”Bad Bad Whiskey” particularly setting the jukeboxes alight starting in 1950.  Other winners on this subject included “One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer” written by the great Rudy Toombs (author of another classic song about liquor: “One Mint Julep”),  “Let Me Go Home Whiskey”, “Thinking And Drinking”, “Vicious Vicious Vodka” and the inevitable “Good Good Whiskey”!

Unfortunately, after Amos left Aladdin in 1957, his career never regained its earlier strength and with a sad case of life imitating art, he became a slave to the bottle and died in January 1980, aged only 52.  Luckily we can still enjoy the cool blues and rockin’ rhythms that he delivered on those Aladdin sides of long ago.  He even cut respectable remakes of some of his early hits on an album he cut with producer Clarence Paul for Motown in the early 60’s.

Here’s a list of recommended Amos recordings:

A & M Blues” (aka “That Stuff Is Old”) (Amos Milburn)
By Amos Milburn (Aladdin: 1948) US #9 R&B (in ’49)

Bad Bad Whiskey” (Maxwell Davis)
By Amos Milburn (Aladdin: 1950) US #1 R&B (in ’51)

Bewildered” (Teddy Powell/Leonard Whitcup)
By Amos Milburn (Aladdin: 1948) US #1 R&B

Birmingham Bounce” (Hardrock Gunter)
By Amos Milburn (Aladdin: 1950)

Chicken Shack Boogie” (Amos Milburn/Lola Ann Cullum)
By Amos Milburn (Aladdin: 1947) US #1 R&B in ’48 [Re-recorded by Amos for Aladdin in 1956]

Down The Road Apiece” (Don Raye)
By Amos Milburn (Aladdin: 1946) [Originally by Freddie Slack with The Will Bradley Trio on Columbia in 1940]

Empty Arm Blues” (John Erby)
By Amos Milburn (Aladdin: 1949) US #4 R&B

Good Good Whiskey” (Adelia Davis)
By Amos Milburn (Aladdin: 1954)

Hold Me Baby” (Amos Milburn/Lola Ann Cullum)
By Amos Milburn (Aladdin: 1949) US #2 R&B

I Want To Go Home” (Charles Brown/Amos Milburn)
By Charles Brown & Amos Milburn (Ace: 1959)

I’m Still A Fool For You” (Rudy Toombs)
By Amos Milburn (Aladdin: 1952)

In The Middle Of The Night” (Jessie Mae Robinson)
By Amos Milburn (Aladdin: 1949) US #3 R&B

It Took A Long, Long Time” (Jesse Cryer)
By Amos Milburn (Aladdin: 1948) US #6 R&B (in ’49)

Juice Juice Juice” (Amos Milburn/Edward Mesner/Landon Mesner)
By Amos Milburn (Aladdin: 1956)

Let Me Go Home Whiskey” (Shifti Henry)
By Amos Milburn (Aladdin: 1953) US #3 R&B

Let’s Make Christmas Merry, Baby” (Frank Haywood/Monroe Tucker)
By Amos Milburn (Aladdin: 1949) US #3 R&B

Let’s Rock A While” (Frank Haywood/Monroe Tucker)
By Amos Milburn (Aladdin: 1951) US #3 R&B

Money Hustlin’ Woman” (Amos Milburn/Lola Ann Cullum)
By Amos Milburn (Aladdin: 1947)

One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer” (Rudolph Toombs)
By Amos Milburn (Aladdin: 1953) US #2 R&B

Real Pretty Mama Blues” (Harold Jones/Dootsie Williams)
By Amos Milburn (Aladdin: 1949) US #9 R&B

Rocky Mountain” (Rudy Toombs)
By Amos Milburn (Aladdin: 1952)

Roomin’ House Boogie” (Jessie Mae Robinson)
By Amos Milburn (Aladdin: 1949) US #1 R&B

Sax Shack Boogie” (Amos Milburn)
By Amos Milburn (Aladdin: 1950) US #9 R&B

Tears, Tears, Tears” (Jessie Mae Robinson)
By Amos Milburn (Aladdin: 1951) US #5 R&B

Thinking And Drinking” (O.O. Merritt)
By Amos Milburn (Aladdin: 1952) US #8 R&B

Vicious Vicious Vodka” (Joseph Smith)
By Amos Milburn (Aladdin: 1954)

Walkin’ Blues” (Amos Milburn)
By Amos Milburn (Aladdin: 1949) US #8 R&B (in ’50)

US chart positions quoted above courtesy of Joel Whitburn & Billboard Magazine

Movie Quote of yesteryear:

I caught the blackjack right behind my ear. A black pool opened up at my feet. I dived in. It had no bottom.”

spoken in voice-over by Dick Powell as private detective Philip Marlowe in “Murder, My Sweet” (RKO: 1944);  in the UK, that film was released as “Farewell My Lovely”.

Rock on!


Previous postings of “The Door To Yesterday” newsletter can be found at www.wizwas.com

“The Door To Yesterday” #16

What’s in a name?

W.C. Fields in "The Bank Dick" (Universal: 1940)

One of the unwritten rules in comedy is that zany characters should have equally wacky names. After all, ‘Cosmo Kramer’ suits Michael Richards’ “Seinfeld” personality much better than, say, ‘Jack Smith’ would ever do. W.C. Fields understood this premise and worked it to the fullest in what was probably his greatest movie, “The Bank Dick”, for which Fields himself wrote the screenplay, credited on-screen as ‘by Mahatma Kane Jeeves’!

W.C.’s character was named ‘Egbert Sousé’, a point wittingly driven home in the first few minutes of the film as two ladies walking by his house see his name on the mailbox; the first woman pronounces his second name as ‘Souse’ as if it were spouse without the ‘p’, to which the second woman corrects her, describing the punctuation as ‘accent grave over the e’! Fields must have smiled every time that line was heard (he himself repeats it) because it sets the audience up for a string of other wonderfully comical names which appear in the picture. There’s ‘Og Oggilby’: the timid, slow-witted boyfriend of Egbert’s daughter perfectly played with wide-eyed innocence by Grady Sutton, ‘A. Pismo Clam’: the incompetent, drunk movie director portrayed by Jack Norton and also ‘J. Frothingham Waterbury’: a stocks and shares con man played by Russell Hicks. The other finely crafted name is ‘J. Pinkerton Snoopington’: the harried bank examiner superbly portrayed by Franklin Pangborn.

The cavalcade of comedic names continued in certain of W.C. Fields’s other pictures in which he played a series of similarly-fun characters . In ‘The Big Broadcast Of 1938’ (Paramount), he was ‘T. Frothingell Bellows’, in “The Old Fashioned Way” (Paramount: 1934) he was ‘The Great McGonigle’, in “My Little Chickadee” (Universal: 1940) he was ‘Cuthbert J. Twillie’ opposite Mae West as ‘Flower Belle Lee’, in “You Can’t Cheat An Honest Man” (Paramount: 1939) he was ‘Larson E. Whipsnade’ and in “The Man On The Flying Trapeze” (Paramount: 1935) he was ‘Ambrose Wolfinger’.

Not that Mr. Fields was alone in leaving us a litany of unforgettable character names. Who can ever forget Groucho Marx as ‘Captain Jeffrey Spaulding’ – the African explorer – in “Animal Crackers” (Paramount: 1930)? Indeed, Groucho’s stable of comedic personalities offered other indelible creations such as ‘Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff’ in “Horse Feathers” (Paramount: 1932), ‘Rufus T. Firefly’ in “Duck Soup” (Paramount: 1933), ‘Otis B. Driftwood’ in “A Night At The Opera’ (MGM: 1935) and the venerable ‘Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush’ in “A Day At The Races” (MGM: 1937).

Recommended article of the week:

Get Back To Where You Once Belonged”: an enlightening report on the continuing power of nostalgia in the world of marketing by Jeffrey Zaslow (Wall Street Journal: 1/20/10)

Vintage Song of the week:

An acoustic version of “Ne Me Quitte Pas” sung with its original French lyric by Angelique Kidjo on Starbucks’ just-released and timely collection “Sweetheart”. The song was among Jacques Brel’s most captivating ballads and with an English lyric by Rod McKuen, it became the transatlantic hit “If You Go Away”; Damita Jo had the initial best-selling version of the latter on Epic in 1966 followed by Terry Jacks on Bell in 1967.

Movie Quote of yesteryear:

That’s a nice outfit but you better add to it before  you go to church.”

Spoken by Cornel Wilde (as Pete Morgan, the nightclub manager) to Ida Lupino (as Lily Stevens, the club’s torch singer)
in “Road House” (20th Century- Fox: 1948)

Rock on!

Previous postings of “The Door To Yesterday” newsletter can be found at www.wizwas.com